Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Education: Master of Education in Educational Leadership

Library's research guide for MEDL

Doing research for your topic is a matter of choosing relevant keywords or key terms that best represent the main concepts about your topic. It may be useful to consider narrowing or broadening keywords as you refine your search strategy. 

Example

Concept → Other Narrower Broader Related
resilience grit "no excuses" character social environment
research inquiry critique information ; literature bias ; authority ; evidence
education  school K-12 ; primary learning children ; culture

Where do key terms or keywords like this come from?

  • Author/index-assigned subject terms
  • Subject thesaurus / descriptors, e.g. ERIC
  • Abstracts of useful articles
  • Encyclopedia or overview works, e.g. Wikipedia
     

How to find keywords?

Watch for and capture them when reading - especially from abstract and subject term fields

Use template below for your own search strategy.

Concept  Other Narrower Broader Related
         
       
 

 

What is your information environment? What counts as "literature?"

There are many different types of literature in education. Consider the content types listed below in bold that are available to you through VIU's LibrarySearch.


LibrarySearch Content Types:

Album
Architectural Drawing 
Archival Material 
Art
Artifact
Atlas 
Audio Recording 
Audio Tape 
Blueprints
Book 
Book Chapter 
Book Review 
Case
Catalog
Ceremonial Object
Clothing
Compact Disc 
Computer File 
Course Reading 
Conference Proceeding 
Data Set
Database

Dissertation/Thesis
Drawing
DVD
eBook 
eJournal 
Electronic Resource
Equipment
Exam
Film 
Film Script

Filmstrip
Finding Aid

Furnishing
Globe 
Government Document 
Graphic Arts
Image 
Implements
Interactive Media

Journal Article
Kit 

Magazine
Magazine Article
Manuscript 
Map 
Market Research
Model
Music Manuscript 
Music Score 
Music Recording 
Musical Instrument
Newsletter 
Newspaper Article 
Painting
Pamphlet
Paper
Patent 
Personal Article
Personal Narrative
Photograph 
Poem

Postcard
Poster 
Play
Presentation
Publication Article
Realia 
Reference 
Report 
Sheet Music 
Slide
Special Collection 
Spoken Word Recording 
Standard 
Technical Report
Tool
Trade Publication
Trade Publication Article

Transcript
Video Recording 
Web Resource



Searching in ERIC definitely has its benefits, because you are only searching for literature that is focused in education. However, it may be necessary to filter by Publication Type to receive the results you need.
 

ERIC Publication Types: 

Book/Product Reviews, Books, Collected Works (All), Collected Works - General, Collected Works - Proceedings, Collected Works - Serials, Computer Programs, Creative Works, Dissertations/Theses (All), Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations, Dissertations/Theses - Masters Theses, Dissertations/Theses - Practicum Papers, ERIC Digests in Full Text, ERIC Publications, Guides (All), Guides - Classroom - Learner, Guides - Classroom - Teacher, Guides - General, Guides - Non-classroom, Historical Materials, Information Analyses, Journal Articles, Legal/Legislative/Regulatory Materials, Machine-Readable Data Files, Multilingual/Bilingual Materials, Non-print Media, Numerical/Quantitative Data, Opinion Papers, Reference Materials (All), Reference Materials - Bibliographies, Reference Materials - Directories/Catalogs, Reference Materials - General, Reference Materials - Geographic, Reference Materials - Vocabularies/Classifications, Reports (All), Reports - Descriptive, Reports - Evaluative, Reports - General, Reports - Research, Speeches/Meeting Papers, Tests/Questionnaires, Translations

 

Citation mining is a way of maximizing your search. By checking and following up on the citations listed in the works you're interested in, you can find more relevant results. Under each result in LibrarySearch, select "cited articles" or "cited by these articles" to learn more.

Example: (resilience OR grit) critique


 

Research is iterative → Find more based on what you have, and record your path

Consider keeping a research journal.
Include: Databases and sources, effective key words/descriptors and combinations, key journals and authors, ideas for follow up.


​Save and name files consistently.

Strategies:

  • Email files to yourself, or use your VIU or other file space
  • Create folders for specific projects
  • Name files consistently, and consider how the names will file. e.g.:
    • ResilienceProject_AuthorLast_AuthorFirst_BriefTitle
    • If file name leads with date, 2017 07 28 is better than July 28 2017


​Make periodic backups.

e.g.: from local drive to cloud, or cloud to local.


Use a citation management tool

Consider: Features or functionality that you will need.

  • If you need only to generate quick citations, the “saved items” function of LibrarySearch may suit your needs.
  • If you want to save citations for later use and organize them in folders, either Mendeley or Zotero support those purposes.
  • If you are working with others you may value collaborative features (e.g. Zotero group: Education in the 21st Century)
  • This diagram compares Mendeley and Zotero

Adapted from York University Libraries' Zotero vs Mendeley Comparison and from a comparison Venn diagram from UBC Libraries.

VIU Footer